What to pack in your hospital bag

The pending birth of a baby brings much anticipation, and a much thought about topic is “what should I pack in my hospital bag?“. What items will I actually use? What items will render themselves useless and never actually leave said bag?

My lovely friend, Hanna from Two Cherries, is expecting her second baby imminently. She and I have compiled lists of some must-have items to support you through labour and birth. Hanna and I had very different labours with our first babies, so hopefully between us have a well-rounded experience of what you may need. We have each compiled our TOP 10, so here is mine…

For Mama

  1. Toiletries bag, including flip flops as if you are on the ward afterwards they are handy for wearing in the shower/ bathroom. My toiletries bag had; shampoo, conditioner body wash, dry shampoo, face wipes, chapstick as my lips for really dry, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and flannel. I bought most of these as minis from the Pound Shop!

2. Big knickers, and make sure that they go high enough not touch a c-section wound. I was very blessed to have had a water birth, but I had been told before by a friend that her underwear irritated her wound and this always stuck with me to make sure I bought some Bridget Jones’. I also wore these for months after!

3. Maternity pads, lots of them! Some of my friends recommended Tena pants too.

4. Things for breastfeeding, if you are planning too; lanolin cream, breastpads, maternity bras, and tank tops.

5. Your own pillow or cushion. I found this such a comfort, especially afterwards as the hospital pillows are so thin. I also found it helpful to help with propping baby on for breastfeeding.

6. A hair band or clip. My hair getting in my face irritated me so much, and I was really glad when my husband whipped out a hair tie!

7. Change for parking and vending machines. This one is rather self-explanatory: you need to park, and you and your birthing partner might fancy a snack.

8. Cereal bars and Lucozade Sport, or another sugary snack and drink. I had these after birth, along with a cheeky takeaway pizza that we had delivered to the birthing suite, and they really helped me get my sugar levels back up.

9. A drinks bottle with a straw. I was SO thirsty giving birth. It is obviously thirsty work, but the hospital rooms can be quite dry too. I had a water birth and in between contractions my husband would pop the straw in my mouth so I could take a quick sip.

10. Fully charged mobile and charger. This is for making phonecalls / taking photos – so you will want to make sure you have battery! I had actually half written our birth announcement as a note on my phone beforehand, just leaving blanks for my husband to fill in with the details.

For Baby

Side note, if you pack up outfits in sandwich bags it’ll make dressing baby a lot easier for you or for someone else.

  1. 2x newborn vests

2. 2x newborn outfits 

3. 2x 0-3 months vests and outfits as back-up in case you have a big baby

4. 10x nappies, minimum

5. Blanket

6. Muslins

7. Cotton wool for nappy changes, this is better than wipes especially in the early days; just cotton wool and water is great.

8. 2x hats. When I was in the hospital, it was policy that baby had to wear a hat for the majority of the time to help regulate their temperature.

9. Scratch mits

10. A car seat that comes out of the car! We had a car seat that was iso-fixed into the car, but it was hospital policy that babies had to leave the hospital ward in a car seat or carrier. We ended up having my mum bring us a carrier to take her down to the car.

Finally, you may also want to bring a few essentials for your birthing partner. I ended up spending two nights in hospital as my daughter wouldn’t latch, and I was so lucky that my husband was allowed to stay with me in a side room on the birthing suite. However, he didn’t have any clean clothes / deodorant / toothbrush etc so family members had to rummage around our house trying to find the things he needed.

What are some of your hospital-bag must-haves?

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